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Thread: Interesting supreme Courts case testing the ADA

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Default Interesting supreme Courts case testing the ADA

    A blind man couldn't order pizza from Domino's. The company wants the Supreme Court to say websites don't have to be accessible
    Tucker Higgins | @tuckerhiggins
    Published 7 Hours Ago Updated 2 Hours Ago
    CNBC.com


    Guillermo Robles, who is blind, has tried to order a custom pizza from Domino's at least two times in recent years, using the company's website and mobile app.

    Robles is one of an increasing number of Americans with disabilities who are bringing lawsuits under the ADA against businesses they say are discriminating against them by not providing accessible websites.
    The official website for Beyonce is among the many targeted by accessibility lawsuits.

    An employee takes a customer's order on the phone at a Domino's Pizza restaurant.
    Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    An employee takes a customer's order on the phone at a Domino's Pizza restaurant.
    Guillermo Robles, who is blind, has tried to order a custom pizza from Domino's at least twice in recent years, using the company's website and mobile app.

    He says despite using screen reading software, he wasn't able to order the food, because the website is not accessible to blind people.

    So three years ago, Robles filed a lawsuit against the company. He alleged that the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 1990 law that requires businesses to make accommodations for those with disabilities, applied to the websites and apps of businesses with physical locations. A federal appeals court agreed. Now, the Supreme Court may weigh in.

    Robles is one of an increasing number of Americans with disabilities who are bringing lawsuits under the ADA against businesses they say are discriminating against them by not providing accessible websites.

    Businesses, including Domino's, say the lawsuits are a nuisance, and argue that the federal government has not yet put out rules governing how to make their web platforms ADA compliant.

    But disabled groups and individuals argue that clear international standards exist, and companies must follow them or find another way to make their sites accessible.
    Domino's has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear Robles' case, where it could prove to be a landmark battle over the rights of disabled people on the internet.

    "If businesses are allowed to say, 'We do not have to make our websites accessible to blind people,' that would be shutting blind people out of the economy in the 21st century," said Christopher Danielsen, a representative for the National Federation of the Blind.

    The number of lawsuits over inaccessible websites has exploded recently. Last year, more than 2,200 such suits were filed in federal courts, according to the accessible technology firm UsableNet, up from just 814 in 2017.
    Among other targets of the accessibility lawsuits: Beyonce.com.

    In its petition with the top court, Domino's wrote that leaving in place the lower court ruling for Robles would "turn that flood of litigation into a tsunami."
    Not great for defendants

    Experts point to different causes for the increase in litigation.
    One potential cause: In 2017, the Department of Justice said it would not be putting out regulations on the matter, reversing a 2010 announcement that such rules were forthcoming

    Scott Topolski, an attorney at the law firm Cole Schotz who represents businesses in ADA cases, said another cause may be the 2017 decision in the case Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores. In that case, the federal court in Miami held that the grocery chain's website was required to be accessible.

    "That probably emboldened attorneys, certainly here in Florida and probably throughout the country," Topolski said. "The landscape so far hasn't been great for defendants and defense attorneys."

    The suits so far have primarily hit those in the retail, food service and travel industries, according to UsableNet. A vast majority of the suits are filed by just 10 attorneys, the group found.

    Business groups are lining up behind Domino's. So far, the Chamber of Commerce, the Restaurant Law Center and the National Retail Federation have submitted friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the pizza company.

    In its filing with the top court, the Chamber of Commerce wrote that the Justice Department has provided only "inconsistent, nonbinding, and unaccountable" rules for when and how websites must be accessible to those with disabilities.

    "The current and worsening uncertainty favors no one, except perhaps the small class of plaintiffs' firms that have driven this litigation," attorney Gregory Garre wrote on behalf of the group.
    'Why not innovate and take our money?'

    But Danielsen said the Justice Department's decision not to implement standard rules leaves room for businesses to develop new tools for accessibility

    "Now we are in a situation where businesses should be happy, because although there are web accessibility standards out there, and courts have found them useful, companies have some flexibility and space to innovate," he said.
    "There is a ton of space for innovation in this area," he added. "Rather than refusing to take the money of those of us with disabilities, why not innovate and take our money?"

    Joseph Manning, Robles' attorney, declined to comment on the case while it's pending. He is due to file a response by Aug. 14.

    The Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the case, Domino's Pizza v. Guillermo Robles, when the justices return from their summer recess in the fall.
    Last edited by Lazarus; 07-25-2019 at 11:37 AM.
    Linda~~~~

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I hope that blind people will get better access to Websites. I believe that now one option is to invest in special software that will read any Webpage to you but of course it costs, and many blind people can't afford it.
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Thank you for posting this, Linda.

    The Internet isn't brand new, and it keeps evolving every day, as do devices like computers, phones and tablets. There has been more than enough time for businesses to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.

    If the ADA needs an amendment to address internet accessibility, then Congress needs to create one. There is no acceptable excuse for discrimination, which is exactly what this is.

    It's just criminal that people with disabilities have to sue and invoke the ADA, because businesses refuse to be accessible. There should be no difference between being able to get into the door of a building and being able to get through the door of a website.

    And now, I have another reason not to be a Beyonce fan.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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    I don't follow the news, but I do know who Beyoncé is. What did she do?
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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    ((((((Howie)))))) ~

    From the article Lazarus posted:

    Robles is one of an increasing number of Americans with disabilities who are bringing lawsuits under the ADA against businesses they say are discriminating against them by not providing accessible websites.
    The official website for Beyonce is among the many targeted by accessibility lawsuits.
    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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    The Beyoncé I'm talking about sings. I think they are 2 different Beyonces, I HOPE!
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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    ((((((Howie)))))) ~

    There's only one Elton, one Madonna, one Lady Gaga, one Elvis, one Cher, one Prince, and one Beyonce'.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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    Thanks for posting this! I have many wonderful blind people in my life so cases like this mean a lot to me. I hope the blind guy wins. This makes me glad I made my website accessible. I know from creating my website that the process of making the websites accessible is rather tricky unless you code for screen reader compatibility from the beginning. If you build with a non accessible code it can be super hard to put accessibility in retroactively and the internet and software is constantly changing, so you basically have to re build the site from scratch to make it accessible, but I guess they don’t want to invest in a new website. That being said, I think some visual based sites can just have image description instead of being re built luckily. Example: I noticed a lot of people putting image description on Instagram now so my blind friends now use and post to Instagram. Do these businesses not realize they are losing $$$ that blind people spend?? Oh yeah they think disabled people do nothing except wishing they were dead because they are disabled.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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    The money disabled people have, even though there may not be a lot of it, is still perfectly good legal tender so far as I know.

    I've known some blind people too, and some have been to blind school, where one of the things they learn is the way to handle money and write checks so as to be accurate about it.
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    When I was in college I was a reader for a blind professor. Helped him grade papers, prepare lesson plans. I learned to read braille and transcripe materials from print to braille and the reverse. He would get really annoyed when people would address him in condescending ways, and treat him as if he had some retardation, rather than "just" being blind.

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